Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The 10th Annual Garlic Planting

Hello Farm Folk,

It's time for The Cutting Veg 10th Annual Garlic Planting! Staring with 100 bulbs in 2005, we have grown our crop into the tens of thousands, with the goal of planting 30,000 cloves this fall! Please join us on the farm on Sunday, October 12th, and/or Monday October 13th, between 7:30am & 4pm to help us begin this process. On Monday, October 13th, there will be interactive hand-drumming (rhythmicbynature.com) on the farm, to add to the fun. Please rsvp to daniel@thecuttingveg.com, and mention what day you want to come, and if you need directions to the farm, or a lift.

Looking forward to seeing you on the farm!

The Cutting Veg Farm Team

P.S. We've still got garlic available for planting or eating: http://bit.ly/12wbLh

P.P.S. Interested in growing your own garlic? Instructions here: http://bit.ly/tyJiz

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Three Truths and a Lie (about Terri & Daniel)


Guess which one is the lie!

1.Terri has never done farm work for more than 30 minutes in a row-but she can drum at the farm all day.

2.After drumming with Terri for almost 9 years, Daniel still can't play one complete rhythm!

3.Daniel and Terri use farming and music to promote wellness and to alleviate depression and anxiety (in themselves and others).

4.Daniel and Terri were recently hired to provide a Rhythm & Harvest Retreat for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Staff.

SEE BOTTOM FOR THE LIE!

Want to explore your relationship with Food and Music? Join us for our:

RHYTHM & HARVEST FALL FARM RETREAT

Date: September 28, 2014
Time: 10am - 4pm
Location: Elmgrove Farm
535 Catering Road, Sutton, ON L0E 1R0
Cost: $150 + hst (Be in touch about flexible pricing, if you want to participate and cannot afford the full price)
More info: http://bit.ly/1tDdrGE

To Register or for more information contact:
Terri at 416-662-6488
terri@rhythmicbynature.com


AND THE LIE? #4. We weren't hired by TIFF. But that doesn't mean you can't join us for our Rhythm & Harvest Fall Retreat!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Farm Talk: The Garlic Story

I fell in love with growing garlic during 2000 --- my first year of farming. Like everyone else, I was a little stunned to learn there are so many different varieties of garlic. Five years later, The Cutting Veg launched The Global Garlic Project in order to promote seed diversity, enrich the taste of our food, to cultivate health and wellness in the community, and because it is so darn fun to grow and cook with so many different types of garlic! For several years, there was no distribution --- just growing the volume of seed stock by planting, harvesting, and replanting. We started with 10 bulbs each of 10 different varieties: Persian, Thai, Tibetan, Korean, Italian, Sicilian, Ukrainian, Russian, Former Yugoslavia, and Salt Spring Island. Over the years we grew from 100 bulbs to 600 to 1500 to 4000 to 15000 to 21000 to 27000 up to maximum of 45,000 bulbs. From 100 to 45000 bulbs in 6 years! Over the last couple of years we have scaled back a little. We were getting too many small bulbs, and so the emphasis switched from quantity of harvest to size of bulbs. To this end, we started planting cloves from large bulbs exclusively. This brings us to the 2014 crop, which is by far the best crop in the nine years of The Global Garlic Project. Last week we harvested 26,000 bulbs. It's taken nine years, but we've finally got the crop where I hoped it to be. Very few smalls. Simply gorgeous jumbo, large, and medium bulbs. Best crop ever!

Over the years we have lost a few varieties (we miss you Tibetan and Thai), and added several new ones. Argentinean, Japanese, Romanian, Siberian, Polish, Northern Quebec, Rose de Lautrec (French) --- each of these are being grown in increasing volume each year, and will be available in coming seasons. In the meantime, I invite you to make yourself a part of The Garlic Story by learning about the unique varieties, delighting in the different flavours, and growing some for yourself!

For more info about the various varieties, and their unique qualities, please visit http://bit.ly/UGW2Q

If you are interested in growing your own garlic, check out the following link for basic growing instructions: http://bit.ly/tyJiz

For garlic sampling recipes (to get to know the various varieties), check out http://bit.ly/esntNm

If you would like to place an order, please do so at http://bit.ly/12wbLh

What's the difference between all the different types of garlic?

Some are hot and spicy (Ukrainian, Persian), some are mild (Russian, Italian), some are sweet (Former Yugoslavia). Some varieties have many cloves per bulb (Sicilian can have up to 16), while others, like the Russian, can have 2 or 3 huge cloves. Some tend to be very large (Northern Quebec), some tend to be smaller (Rose de Lautrec). Colours and shape vary as well. More info here: http://bit.ly/UGW2Q

Testing Raw Garlic: Garlic Dipping Sauce

When having a tasting session, make a generous amount of the basic sauce. Then the only differences in flavour are from the differences in the varieties of garlic. The proportions of yogurt and mayonnaise may be varied.

For the basic sauce combine:

1/2 cup plain yogurt (or soy yogurt)
1/2 cup mayonnaise (or mustard)
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
Divide the base into as many dishes as you have garlic varieties you want to compare. To each dish add enough crushed garlic of one variety to get a good but not overpowering garlic taste and label the dish with the variety name. Dip raw or steamed veggies in the sauces.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Pre-Order your Local, Organic Garlic

Hello Garlic Lovers,

It's that time of year again --- time to pre-order your local, organic garlic!

Starting with 100 bulbs in 2005, The Cutting Veg garlic crop has soared to an anticipated harvest of 25,000+ bulbs this season. Having managed the crop over the last ten seasons, with an eye towards quality, quantity, and bulb size, I can say confidently that this is shaping up to be the best crop we've ever had. We've planted our garlic in the nicest soil on the farm ---- what I like to call The Golden Acre --- and it is clear that this is the most vibrant looking crop I've ever grown.

While we currently have 17 varieties in cultivation, there are 9 varieties available for purchase this year: Persian, Russian, Korean, Italian, Sicilian, Salt Spring Island, Chinese, Ukrainian, and available for the first time, a stunning French variety, known as Rose de Lautrec. Each variety is unique in flavour, shape, size, and cloves per bulb --- making it easy to fall in love with them all. The other varieties --- Northern Quebec, Former Yugoslavia, Israeli, Japanese, Romanian, Siberian, Argentinean, and Polish will be available in coming years.

If you would like to place an order, you can do so right now by clicking here.

A few other Garlicky opportunities:

1. The Cutting Veg is also offering our "Garlic Lovers Organic Variety Packs", and "Garlic Lovers Organic Large Variety Packs" this season, for folks who aren't yet addicted to certain varieties, and want to sample a wide spectrum, at a discount price. For more info about the various varieties, and their unique qualities, please visit http://bit.ly/UGW2Q

2. If you are interested in growing your own garlic, check out the following link for basic growing instructions: http://bit.ly/tyJiz

3. For garlic sampling recipes (to get to know the various varieties), check out http://bit.ly/esntNm

Looking forward to sharing in the garlic harvest with you. Until then, Keep Livin' on the Veg!

Daniel

P.S. If you would like to place an order, please do so at http://bit.ly/12wbLh

Monday, March 3, 2014

Farm Talk: Growing Veggies, Growing People

Farm Update From Farmer Daniel "Growing Veggies, Growing People" has long been a slogan for The Cutting Veg. But, in truth, we do neither. As an organic farmer, I know that I can't make veggies grow...I can only provide an optimal environment in which plants can grow themselves. And as a social worker, I cannot grow people...I can only provide an optimal environment in which people can grow themselves. With the 2014 growing season upon us, providing opportunities for people and plants to grow continues to prevail as the focus for The Cutting Veg. 2014 looks to be an exciting year on the farm --- balancing professional projects with caring for our 10-month-old Ayla. In addition to growing mixed veg with baby-in-tow, we're expecting a harvest of 25,000+ bulbs of local, organic garlic for The Global Garlic Project. We have about 20 garlic varieties in cultivation now, and we're excited to see how some of the new varieties --- Japanese, French, Polish, Argentinean --- turn out. Additionally, I'll be continuing my inspiring work with Garden Jane and The Daniels Corporation to help bring community gardens to various condo communities, and to further develop our exciting urban farm in Mississauga, The Backyard Farm & Market at Erin Mills. While it's been a difficult winter for us in Southern Ontario, it bodes well for the farming season. The cold winter will have killed off many pest populations. And the massive volumes of precipitation we've received will go a long way to refilling the pond from which we irrigate. While the farm remains covered in snow, it won't be long before we're out in the fields --- watching the first garlic plants emerge from the ground, fertilizing the rhubarb, planting our spring crops, and delighting in the first asparagus of the season. WOOHOO! Whether I'm hanging out with baby Ayla, farm volunteers, 25,000 garlic plants, or condo gardeners, I feel so lucky to be aligned with my purpose of "Growing Veggies & Growing People." Planning Your Garden Although it's still snowy outside, it's never too early to start planning for the gardening season. And nothing helps beat the winter blues like diving into a seed catalogue, and choosing crops. When people learn that I'm an organic farmer in Southern Ontario, they tend to think winter is one long break. However, any farmer will tell you this just isn't true. A farmer's job description can be divided into thirds: the physical work, the planning, and the marketing. The winter is a key period to get on track with the planning and marketing components. Each winter I ask myself four key questions: i)What are my goals for the year? ii)What crops will I grow and how much of each? iii)Who will the team be (staff? interns? volunteers?); iv)How will I distribute my veg this season? Whether you garden as a hobby, or grow professionally, you too can delight in the winter planning process by asking yourself the same questions: What are my goals for the year? The nature of gardening dictates that you will have some great growing seasons, and some mediocre ones, so having broad goals helps set you up for a successful season. Beyond, "Growing tons of veg", other great gardening goals can include: making new friends, doing more physical activity, spending time outdoors, learning about plants, spending time with my kids, etc. What crops will I grow and how much of each? Many factors can influence your choices for what you want to grow. What veg do you eat lots of, and like to cook? Does your garden get lots of sun, or is it more shady? How much time will you have to spend in the garden on a weekly basis? Do you want to integrate flowers and herbs? Do you want to try growing something new this year? If you're growing in the same location as last year, which crops worked, and which didn't? TIP: If new to your growing space, ask your garden neighbours which crops & varieties seemed to do really well in the past. Who will the team be? Would you prefer to have your own plot, or be part of a communal garden? Do you find gardening solo rewarding, or do you want to make an effort to garden with others? Or make time for both? Do you have any kids in your life, or loved ones, who you could invite to join you in reaping the therapeutic rewards of gardening? How will I distribute my veg this season? Perhaps you'd like to donate your produce to a community organisation or food bank? Or trade some veg with fellow gardeners for crops you don't have? Or preserve (freeze, can, dry, or store) some, so that you can eat local, organic produce in the winter? If you're like me and find thinking about your garden helps you get through the long winter, then enjoy pondering some of these garden planning questions. And when it's time to get your seeds and seedlings, Urban Harvest (www.uharvest.ca), and Matchbox Garden & Seed Co. (www.matchboxgarden.ca) are two great local options. Keep Livin' on the Veg!